Seven months on from the heartache of missing the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to injury, reigning Australian long jump champion Brooke Stratton (Athletics Nunawading) will have her first serious hit out at the Briggs Athletics Classic this Sunday 25 January at Domain Athletics Centre, Hobart.
After going through a gruelling 30 week rest and recovery block that included low impact running on the alter G low impact treadmill three times a week, Stratton is now close to full training and has eased back into competition.
“Things are progressing well and my back is coping very well with the training. Six months on from my injury, I was finally back in the sandpit. It has now been seven months and I am pretty much back into full training, although I haven’t had the best preparation, jumps wise, leading into the season, but I’m hoping to be back jumping at my best come March, Stratton said.”
“I have really enjoyed getting back out there and having a few races at AV Shield. I have produced some decent times since I have come back from my injury which is very promising. I had my first long jump hit out last weekend. It was good to blow out some cobwebs and come off a full run-up before the tour meets start.”
After a break out 2014 season highlighted by a personal best of 6.70m at the Australian Athletics Championships and dominating the Australian Athletics Tour, Stratton is motivated and focused on strengthening her position as Australia’s number one female long jumper.
“This season, my goals are to better my personal best of 6.70m, win nationals and qualify for the World Championships in Beijing. It would be great to get the qualifier out before the national championships, but it’s a huge positive knowing I have up until August to achieve the standard.”
With the Glasgow hiccup behind the 21-year-old, Stratton is focused on making her first senior international team and achieving her ultimate goal of representing Australia at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“It was so shattering for me to miss out on the Glasgow experience and my first major senior international team. I am more determined than ever for the upcoming season and I will be stepping on the runway and giving it nothing less than 100%. This drive and determination will definitely still be around leading into Rio next year.”
2014 Zatopek:10 winner Brett Robinson (Eureka) will headline a strong Victorian contingent in the 5000m this weekend at the Briggs Athletics Classic.
“The focus for me this year will be the 5000m for sure. My run at Zatopek:10 was good, but it was designed to provide an indication of how well I am going. The time I ran was almost exactly the same as what I did in 2012, and from there I went on to a good season in the 5000m in 2013. I hope to see similar outcomes this year, Robinson said.”
Robinson’s training partner David McNeill (Old Xaverians) will be looking for a strong performance after an injury niggle forced the 2012 London Olympic representative out of the Victorian 5000m Championships last November and followed by a stitch that hampered his Zatopek:10 chances in December.
Fellow Ballarat based runners Duer Yoa (Eureka) and Stewart McSweyn (Eureka) will join XCR front runners Craig Appleby (Knox), Nick Wightman (Deakin), Toby Rayner (Glenhuntly) and Mitchel Brown (Athletics Essendon) on the start line.
Western Athletics rising 400m star Luke Stevens will be one to keep an eye on this weekend in Hobart after the 20 year-old produced a personal best of 47.01 at AV Knockout Round 1 last December.
Victorian Institute of Sport and 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games shot putter Damien Birkinhead (Corio) is also named to open his 2015 season on the Apple Isle.
Latest Briggs Athletics Classic athlete entry list can be found here
Athletics Australia has confirmed the entire Australian Athletics Tour will be streamed live via Athletic Australia’s dedicated YouTube channel – AthsAust.
For more event information and to purchase tickets for the Briggs Track Classic: http://athletics.com.au/Compete/Events/briggs-athletics-classic
To stay-up-to-date with all the latest news and information around the Australian Athletics Tour visits the Summer of Athletics Hub.